Lasoski, Roth reflect on first title together TULARE, Calif. -- Winning any championship in racing is special. For Danny Lasoski and car owner Dennis Roth, winning the 2006 National Sprint Tour title together has extra meaning. First...
Lasoski, Roth reflect on first title together
TULARE, Calif. -- Winning any championship in racing is special.
For Danny Lasoski and car owner Dennis Roth, winning the 2006 National Sprint Tour title together has extra meaning.
First of all, the two reunited to win the inaugural NST title.
Secondly, the two won the title in memory of series founder Fred Brownfield, who was killed at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. in June.
For Lasoski, winning the title was redemption after an extremely trying 2005 season. Following a rough final season with Tony Stewart Motorsports, Lasoski teamed back up with Roth. Lasoski first drove for Roth from 1998 to 2000, a partnership highlighted by a win in the 1998 Knoxville Nationals.
"Last year was the worst year of my career," Lasoski said prior to Saturday night's NST season finale at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway. "A lot of people last year thought I had lost it as a driver. This year, I proved that I could still drive a race car."
While Lasoski's struggles on and off the track last year have been well documented, that did not deter Roth at all from reuniting. Tim Kaeding had run the past two seasons with Roth, with mixed results.
"I knew Danny would run better this year than last year," said Roth, based out of nearby Fresno, Calif. "I know a lot of things happened last year with him, on and off the track. I also knew we would have more consistency if we would do this together."
That has indeed has been the case in 2006. Kaeding's 14 wins in a second Steve Kinser Racing entry led the series, but Lasoski combined 10 wins with amazing consistency to win the title. Lasoski finished in the top-10 all but once. The only finish out of the top-10 was an 11th.
To Roth, the consistency is the best part of the stats.
"The most impressive part to me is the top-10s in every race but one," Roth said. "That's a lot of races to still be running at the end and not have anything fall off the car. That's a tribute to everyone on the team. It's a team that wins and loses together."
The team members are different than when Lasoski last raced for Roth, but Dennis and Teresa Roth are still there.
"This is the first title for Dennis," Lasoski said. "We finished second twice previously. He's deserved to have won many more. The guy is a stellar individual. When we split, we split as friends. Our friendship has only grown over the years."
While the like and respect for each other is clearly mutual, it's also clear how much Brownfield meant and continues to mean for Lasoski and Roth.
"First of all, it's an honor to win the first NST title," Lasoski said. "Fred Brownfield started something great, and we've carried it on."
Roth also is honored.
"With all the effort Fred Brownfield put into this series, Danny and I are very proud to be the first NST champions," Roth said. "Winning it for Fred is the most important part. We've all weathered the storm the last few months. I hope Fred's hard work continues on."
When Brownfield's new series started at Tulare back in February, Steve Kinser swept the opening weekend. Even with that, Roth wasn't worried Kinser would run away with a season championship as he has done so many years.
"I've raced with Steve Kinser a long time," Roth said. "We all knew he would be hard to beat. But we knew if we could be consistent -- and we knew Danny would be consistent -- we would have a chance. We finished every NST race this year. When you race that hard with that many good cars, that's hard to do."